Even after 19 days of the beginning of procurement season, the central procurement agency Food corporation of India (FCI) seems to be missing from grain markets. This is happening at a time, when farmers are facing the wrath of bad weather on their paddy crops and forced to sell their produce below the minimum support price.
The central procurement agency was also lagging behind other state-owned procurement agencies in procurement of paddy.
However, FCI officials have claimed that it has only a share of 10 % of purchase the paddy into the district and it has been buying paddy regularly. But records gathered from district mandi office presented a different picture. It said the agency was remained absent from markets.
A senior official of district mandi office said the state has allotted eight grain markets- Adampur, Jalandhar city, Kartarpur, Phillaur, Bhogpur, Nurmahal, Mehatpur and Shahkot to FCI. The central agency also has five small purchase centres like Punia, Malsian Uggi, Shankar and Khiva, which fall into Shahkot and Nakodar subdivisions.
The official added that FCI has not been coming regularly into its allotted grain markets due to arrival of paddy, which had excess moisture content.
He said FCI was stringent in specifications of purchasing paddy from grain markets as sometimes, state procurement agencies, procure paddy, by giving relaxations under the table.
As per a report of October 17, FCI was missing from Jalandhar city, Phiallur, Mehatpur and Shahkot markets and did not purchase a single grain from these markets.
Till October 17, FCI had purchased only 8489 MT paddy from grain markets in this season that started from October 1.
The official said on October 17 deputy commissioner Varun Roojam had also asked officials of central agency to procure paddy from Shahkot and allied markets, but it seems that the DC's appeal has also proved futile.
FCI district manager Davinder Singh said, “We are regularly procuring paddy from grain markets and we have only 10% share in procurement from district.”
Deputy commissioner Varun Roojam said, “I have talked to FCI officials and asked them to procure each market, allotted to it as it was not purchasing paddy from all its allotted markets.
On October 17, 2012 3.39 lakh MT 3.35 lakh MT
On October 17, 2013 1.98 lakh MT 1.91 lakh MT